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I make no war upon the South nor upon slavery in the South. I have no squeamish sensitiveness upon the subject of slavery, nor morbid sympathy for the slave. I plead the cause of the rights of white freemen.

David Wilmot, speech before the House of Representatives, 1847 (

The Wilmot Proviso:


Mandated that a slave state be added for every free state, and was easily passed in both houses of Congress and signed by Polk.


Would have raised tariffs to pay for the war and was hated by Southerners and Westerners.


Led to the elimination of the gag rule, which had prevented Congress from considering anti-slavery petitions since 1836.


Mandated that any land conquered in the upcoming war with Mexico would be barred from having slavery.


Was the first abolitionist bill introduced to Congress to come to a vote, although it failed.

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